Contact Tracking

I keep hearing on the news that states and municipalities are hiring Trackers to determine with whom a COVID positive person has interacted to get them tested and quarantined as necessary. As short term, remote phone employment, this sounds like the perfect gig for under employed mystery shoppers.

Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 05/31/2020 07:50PM by Flash.

Create an Account or Log In

Membership is free. Simply choose your username, type in your email address, and choose a password. You immediately get full access to the forum.

Already a member? Log In.

I wouldn't want to be involved in any such governmental nonsense. With no definitive testing plan in place, they want average citizens to be walking guinea-pigs, interacting with possibly-infected people. I'll pass.
Opanel,
They are making contact by phone.

Based in MD, near DC
Shopping from the Carolinas to New York
Have video cam; will travel

Poor customer service? Don't get mad; get video.
What I have been reading/hearing about is phone work. My sister's neighbor is currently being monitored by a Contact Tracker by phone each day. The neighbor was in contact with a medical worker who tested positive for COVID and the neighbor is now in mandatory isolation at home. She is being checked on daily by phone to determine whether she has any symptoms and whether she is maintaining isolation. Without symptoms they are not sending her for testing or sending someone to her for testing. She is frustrated because she is unable to find out if the medical worker she was in contact with has developed symptoms.
No problem. I was not clear. There are apparently a number of investigative Tracker jobs that are more hands on, but there are a lot that are remote. My understanding is that Texas currently has a large need for remote Trackers and of course tracking could be done from any phone in the US.
I heard that New York's contact tracing program is up and running or close. Video training is provided and required, and done from home. Passing a test is also required.

Phone contact is made with those testing positive for Covid, who are quarantined at home. The ill provide the names of anyone they may have come in contact with during the infectious period. Again, hearsay, but I was told the pay was very good.
Don't people have HIPPA rights? Has our right to medical privacy been usurped in the Covid-19 era? This is alarming!

The human spirit needs places where nature has not been rearranged by the hand of man. ~ Unknown
_____
I’ve noticed that everyone who is for abortion has already been born. - Ronald Reagan
_____
Shop, please elaborate on your concern. Whose HIPPA rights to medical privacy do you believe might be being violated? Those people who are being quarantined after testing positive for corona? Or those persons who the persons testing positive reveal they have come in contact with?
Precisely, roflwofl. My sister's neighbor was not told even which medical professional she was around, only that one who had been around her tested positive. I feel sure that medical professional is not being told of the status of the people he/she interacted with who needed to be warned. My HIPPA rights apply to keeping my medical history and status confidential. This is not being compromised at all if I am contacted because I was in contact with an unnamed person who has tested positive. Maybe I would prefer that it not be known that I was at a particular place at a particular time, but that is not HIPPA information. If I was at a bar or restaurant I would not see it as inappropriate for the proprietor to share the names on the credit cards to identify people there and I would not see it as inappropriate for the person who paid the bill to name everybody who was in their group.
@Flash wrote:

What I have been reading/hearing about is phone work. My sister's neighbor is currently being monitored by a Contact Tracker by phone each day. The neighbor was in contact with a medical worker who tested positive for COVID and the neighbor is now in mandatory isolation at home. She is being checked on daily by phone to determine whether she has any symptoms and whether she is maintaining isolation. Without symptoms they are not sending her for testing or sending someone to her for testing. She is frustrated because she is unable to find out if the medical worker she was in contact with has developed symptoms.

It's frustrating testing is so limited - even for medical workers. In some hospitals, staff who basically interacted with COVID patients all day/night could not get tested without symptoms. Nurses had to protest and make a big fuss to get the right to be tested.

I'm going to look into this. I'd be willing to take up such a job. smiling smiley
@Opanel wrote:

I did not realize that Flash meant that the program was telephone work. I apologize.
Originally, I believe it was done in person.

We had a church member get exposed and she had people visiting her home every single day checking her health, temperature, and if she'd developed symptoms.

I'd also NOT WANT that job!

eta: In Virginia here and I believe that imposed quarantine of her was in March. So, I'm not sure if/when they switched to phone work..or not here.

Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 06/01/2020 01:28AM by shoptastic.
It was reasonable in the early stages for trained Public Health workers to make visits. When you realize how many people one asymptomatic person can potentially infect, you want the highly trained investigators to prod for names folks have interacted with and then have the phone followers do their thing. If there are issues then the trained Public Health workers can step in to deal with the situation.
I'll look into it.
I don't have any health education credentials, but if they are able to train you and don't require it for the phone job, I'd be up for it. smiling smiley
The drawback I can think of with phone check-ups is what if the person in forced quarantine lacks financial resources and paid "sick leave" in this case? By not physically checking the person's temperature and other signs yourself, could the person not just lie and say they are okay to get back onto the job sooner?

We know of people who've worked with symptoms and did not disclose that to their co-workers/customers.

Nursing home assistants, for example, have done this - among many others, I'm sure. A phone check-up would be safer for the checker, but might open to door to lying too.
I feel sure that training will give you answers to those questions. You are not applying to be a medical professional. It will not be up to you to give the person ANY advice beyond what is in your script. It is not up to you to gloss over anything you sense is not absolutely according to your guidelines. THAT IS WHY I think there are no better laymen for these jobs than mystery shoppers.

As a shopper you are trained to follow guidelines to the letter. You are trained to follow a script. You aren't supposed to make excuses but to strictly report outcomes to the questions to be covered.
We should not know who has been in contact with or who might have this disease, just as it is not our business to be told who has HIV, AIDS, cancer, mental illness, etc. This is intrusive, and it crosses a line. If someone wants to tell us if or how they are sick, they are free to do so. No one else should be given that privilege and thereby usurp other people's privacy and dignity. This is just wrong. !

The human spirit needs places where nature has not been rearranged by the hand of man. ~ Unknown
_____
I’ve noticed that everyone who is for abortion has already been born. - Ronald Reagan
_____
You do realize that HIPPA covers a lot more than patient privacy, right? And, in the privacy area of the law, there a number of specific exceptions. Some exceptions specifically named in the law are identifying product recalls, collecting or reporting adverse events, and tracking FDA-regulated products. A major exception concerns persons at risk of contracting or spreading a disease. A covered medical entity may disclose protected health information to a person who is at risk of contracting or spreading a disease or condition if other law authorizes the covered entity to notify such individuals as necessary to carry out public health interventions or investigations. For example, a covered health care provider may disclose protected health information as needed to notify a person that (s)he has been exposed to a communicable disease if the covered entity is legally authorized to do so to prevent or control the spread of the disease. This is covered in detail in 45 CFR 164.512(b)(1)(iv).

This is nothing new. Health authorities have long tracked persons who test positive for syphilis, gonorrhea, HIV, and a number of other communicable diseases in order to identify and notify those persons who may have been infected by those individuals.
@Shop-et-al wrote:

Don't people have HIPPA rights? Has our right to medical privacy been usurped in the Covid-19 era? This is alarming!

Hi Shop, certain contagious diseases require reporting to the health agencies in the state, and then the state will contact people who may have been in contact with that person. This is to try to prevent the spread of the disease. Diseases like HIV, STDs, tuberculosis, etc, and now the new corona virus are the ones that are reported. Things like cancer and mental illness will not be.
Just because a person has been in contact with someone who tested positive is NOT saying that we know they are or are not sick, and the person who tested positive may also be a false positive, so it is not like the Trackers have any knowledge who DOES or DOES NOT have COVID. No line is being crossed here. My understanding is that if they have physical complaints, they are noted by the questions and if there are enough complaints of certain types, SOMEONE ELSE gets them tested and that still does not prove they do or don't have COVID.

If I asked you "Do you have a headache?" is that an invasion of your privacy? If I tell you that you have had close contact with a person (unnamed) who has tested positive for COVID and you are now subject to mandatory quarantine so I will need to contact you every day to make sure you are okay, it is a little invasive of your privacy but I think most folks who would abide by quarantine would just as soon have someone checking in daily to make sure they were okay. Those who would disdain mandatory quarantine would need to be dealt with by other authorities under the pandemic emergency powers.
Two hair salon employees, who ended up testing positive for Covid, continued working. 140 customers came through the doors. If it had not been for record-keeping and contact tracing, the customers may not have realized their exposure. Strict compliance of Hippa measures are in place and it is a concerted effort. Contact tracing has been used in previous infectious diseases like small pox, HIV, and H1n1.
What is the standard of reasonable? It is not reasonable to expect that the fact of being open is the same as being covid-19 free. Common sense suggests staying away from certain situations. If people go where covid-19 is possible or likely, they assume the risk. If they stay away, they lower their risk.

We do not need to know who has been where. We need only mind our own selves.

The human spirit needs places where nature has not been rearranged by the hand of man. ~ Unknown
_____
I’ve noticed that everyone who is for abortion has already been born. - Ronald Reagan
_____
Shopetal,

This contact tracing helps save lives. Privacy is an important right, but sometimes giving it up or taking it away in certain situations makes sense.

A child sex offender, for example, should have no right of anonymity, in my opinion, if he or she lives in my neighborhood. I think most people would agree that for the protection of our children, we'd want to know if we lived literally next door to a convicted child molester.

If you agree, in principle, that sometimes giving up or taking away privacy is for the greater good, then that can apply to a virus situation like this. COVID spreads asymptomatically, unlike SARs and MERS, so it's especially hard to contain. Thank God it's not as deadly as those two, although much more infectious, so the total number of deaths is higher if much more people get it. ...And let's pray to God we don't get a second, more virulent wave this fall/winter like the Spanish flu. A deadlier version of COVID, which is already super infectious and asymptomatically spreads, would be a nightmare.

Contact tracing is one of the weapons we have to fight against its spread. What if it saved YOUR life one day is how I might ask someone to think of it. smiling smiley
Wearing a mask at the most necessary times and places, washing my hands, wearing gloves, and self-care are fine for me. This is enough government.

I would rather remind us that this is still the United States, a Republic, and a vast place that came to be because of over-reach. I would start with Ben Franklin. Others might start with another insightful soul who had the foresight to forge a foundational philosophy that can protect us from ourselves and keep our country sovereign.

"Those who would give up essential Liberty, to purchase a little temporary Safety, deserve neither Liberty nor Safety." (Benjamin Franklin)

The human spirit needs places where nature has not been rearranged by the hand of man. ~ Unknown
_____
I’ve noticed that everyone who is for abortion has already been born. - Ronald Reagan
_____
@Shop-et-al wrote:

Wearing a mask at the most necessary times and places, washing my hands, wearing gloves, and self-care are fine for me. This is enough government.

I would rather remind us that this is still the United States, a Republic, and a vast place that came to be because of over-reach. I would start with Ben Franklin. Others might start with another insightful soul who had the foresight to forge a foundational philosophy that can protect us from ourselves and keep our country sovereign.

"Those who would give up essential Liberty, to purchase a little temporary Safety, deserve neither Liberty nor Safety." (Benjamin Franklin)
I think liberty/freedom, though, is restricted by whether our actions harm others or not.

I don't have the freedom to just go out and shoot someone I dislike. While that may be an extreme example, we also all have rules we abide by that help protect others, such as wearing a seat belt when driving, not smoking in a restaurant, and the like. Sometimes we're asked to do things we don't like, but which are designed to protect us and others from harm.

Not all regulations of human behavior are wrongful infringements of our liberty. And liberty does not always mean we won't have certain rights curtailed when those rights are in conflict with safety.
And think of all those reasons as pebbles in a pail. When our little pails are full, we cannot accept any more restrictions on our freedoms. Were we careless before covid when we accepted too many limitations and restrictions? Did this happen because we were foolish and not voluntarily thinking about other people? When those people pushed back, freedoms disappeared by law, rule, and regulation.

Humans are absurd.

The human spirit needs places where nature has not been rearranged by the hand of man. ~ Unknown
_____
I’ve noticed that everyone who is for abortion has already been born. - Ronald Reagan
_____
You are not describing freedom but rather anarchy. Anarchy occurs when there is no recognition of authority and an environment of chaos and disorder ensues. If one takes your position to its logical extreme then it is ok to have riots in the streets as folks exercise their constitutional rights of assembly and free speech. Once a store has its windows broken it is ok to loot because the merchandise is unprotected. And if the store owner is inside and feels threatened he is free to shoot them all under 'stand your ground' rules.

As an orderly society we give up certain personal liberties in order to live together in a peaceful environment. I don't feel like getting dressed today but I need to go to the store. Unless I am living in a nudist colony with their own store I had best throw on something or be arrested for 'indecent exposure'. On my way to the store I can't drive across your property without permission just because I can avoid a traffic light that way. Once at the store I can't park in spaces designated for specific purposes--handicapped, wounded veterans, persons with infants, employee of the month, pick-up--unless I fit the designation. Inside the store I don't wander into the nearest restroom, regardless of gender designations, to pee. When I wash my hands I don't drop my paper towel on the floor. I don't take groceries out of someone else's cart rather than going to the display and picking up my own. If I have 30 items to purchase, I don't get in the line for 10 items or less just because it is moving faster. I pay for my groceries rather than just taking them. Gee, how many "rules" have I had to follow? My car has a tag on it in addition to a VIN. The Post Office has my address. It is illegal for me to drive without a valid license and proof of insurance. If I do damage to another on my way home I am required to stop and offer assistance/restitution. Would you appreciate living in an area where personal liberties were unrestrained?
[www.cnbc.com]

CNBC had this piece on how to become a contact tracer.

@ wrote:

College degree required? Not necessarily
Interestingly, contact tracing doesn’t involve much detective work, although experts say critical-thinking skills and persistence are among the keys to success. Case investigators for health authorities typically reach out to people who test positive for Covid-19 and, in doing so, try to gather the names and phone numbers of their close contacts (usually immediate family members, friends and/or coworkers). That information is passed along to contact tracers — trained, entry-level employees who don’t necessarily have a four-year college degree or a background in health care.

Contact tracers usually work from a script, although as you might imagine, things can get messy when you’re delivering bad news to strangers and asking them to hole up in their homes, which may mean forfeiting a paycheck.

“The biggest misconception about contact tracing is that you need to have public health training or experience,” says Christiana Coyle, a professor at New York University’s School of Global Public Health and a former contact tracer for the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and New York City’s Department of Health and Mental Hygiene.

“It’s more important,” says Coyle, “that you’re comfortable with medical terminology, working through a script and cold-calling people. For me, cold-calling was the hardest part. You’re giving people news that’s potentially very disturbing and serious. You never know what you’ll encounter on the other end of the phone.”

Be prepared, says Coyle, for some tears and hang-ups.

$30/hour to work from home? Sounds good!

@ wrote:

Gabriel says his firm, which now has 45 employees, may hire as many as 1,000 contact tracers by early June. Salaries will range from $17 to $38 per hour depending on location.
To me the whole thing 'smells' as though it was designed for mystery shoppers: phone/video training, tightly scripted, performed when and as scheduled, reported with accuracy and integrity, engaged enough to elicit response but without biasing that response. PT or FT temporary work.
Good luck everyone applying for these positions (you will be my competitors, heh). smiling smiley I agree that ms experience seems helpful.
Sorry, only registered users may post in this forum.

Click here to login